Retail is a sector that is highly competitive, and if you are the owner or manager of a retail store, or multiple retail stores, you have to implement a strong and effective plan of action that keeps you on course and ahead of your competitors. One way in which to do that is to ensure that you conduct a regular retail audit, ensuring that your store (or stores) retain certain standards, brand compliance and that the effectiveness of your staff and the shape and flow of your retail store are geared towards improvement and efficiency at all times. A retail audit is an important process as it drives up standards and in the process improves customer satisfaction.
The beauty of a retail audit is that it allows you to take a look at your entire retail operation in as much detail as you’d like to. This could mean detailing the efficiency within every sector and individual role within your company, identifying weaknesses and areas that should be improved upon, as well as highlighting current strengths within the business and how they can be used to build a strong foundation for the company as a whole.
A retail audit benefits different areas of a company, not just the management. In the first instance it is a fantastic way for the directors and owners of a large company to get to know the daily processes, protocols and interactions that retail staff on the ground floor are implementing and experiencing. If your company has a range of stores, in different locations, it is imperative to understand each unit, and know when to increase stock in certain locations and when to keep things at a steady pace. Over time this will lead to a much greater efficiency in terms of return of investment and stock waste, improving profits in the process.
When you get to the next level down for large retail organisations, an audit is a great way to keep regional managers on track towards the larger company goals. They can take a look at the progress (or decline) of specific discounts, sales and packages that are being offered at stores within their region and ensure that all stores are working towards the same targets and along the same company ideals and brand guidelines. Accessing data relating to marketing and social media also allows to use that data to see trends and information about customers and potential customers in your region, flowing the information back to individual stores to ensure that potential is fulfilled.
At store level the retail audit is also vital. For individual storeowners and franchise owners, the data that flows down from above can be put to good use on a practical level. Reports can be put together and training programmes for staff members that keep the store moving forward and improving at all times. Training, feedback, and store stock and layout are all important data points that can be analysed and improved upon with clever use of a regular retail audit.